Amazon's Urban Speculation

Aktivität: Vorträge und GastvorlesungenKonferenzvorträgeForschung

Ilia Antenucci - Sprecher*in

Maja-Lee Voigt - Sprecher*in

Armin Beverungen - Sprecher*in

From screens to city streets, Amazon’s existing technologies - such as the Echo and Ring devices, their delivery drones and robots, as well as those technologies currently only patented - point to a plethora of speculations on logistical urbanity. As Amazon enlists the city as a testbed for experiments in automation, it speculates on specific configurations of urban life that can be monetised and boost the platform’s operations. Also, Amazon’s technologies are speculative, insofar as they operate via machine-learning algorithms that anticipate and act upon a range of possible futures. Here, we focus in particular on Amazon Sidewalk, a mesh network which potentially brings together Amazon’s various infrastructures of logistics: retail and surveillance. We inquire into the ways in which these speculative algorithms become normative, as they prefigure / indicate specific logistical subjectivities and modes of governance. How does Sidewalk reconfigure the situated spaces of commerce, at home and beyond? What kinds of subjectivities – relating to safety and surveillance, consumption and commerce – do they anticipate and promote? Which kinds of collective decision-making processes do they preclude? What modes of governance – in terms of behavior modulation and biopolitics – do their data economies and algorithmic analytics enable? Finally, we engage in speculative research to explore potential responses to these modes of governance and types of subjectivity. What kinds of counter-speculations / practices emerge, for example in the tech worker and other (anti-Amazon) movements?


EASST 2022: Politics of technoscientific futures


Madrid, Spanien

Veranstaltung: Konferenz